There are a number of different methods available for metal parts manufacturing, investment casting technology is one of the main process for such metal parts. With the development of investment casting, current investment casting process is more popular for its advantages, such as low cost, free design, no quantity limitation, etc. So investment casting is always the first choice when considering a production technology for a product. Below we will list out some main advantages of investment casting for better understanding:
Freedom of Design
Freedom of design is the typical advantage of investment casting. Compared with drop forging, investment casting can make any products, whose original design is drop forging. Most important is that, it is specially ideal for complex parts, even parts with complex internal shape. No design limitation of investment casting is because tooling/pattern will be made according to the dimensions of products, and the shape is formed by pouring liquid metal into the sprue. After cooling, it will change into solid status. However, when forging, products is made by pressing heated round bar into desired shape between forging dies. By comparision, it can be well understood why there is no design limitation of investment casting.
Competitive Manufacturing Cost
Manufacturing cost of a new investment cast component will include tooling cost and unit cost. Tooling cost of investment casting is competitive than that of drop forging, due to the different metal forming methods, there is a higher requirement on forging dies or die casting molds. So tooling cost of forging is much more expensive for its high material cost. Quality tooling produces a quality part and will be more cost efficient in the long run.
Good Surface Finish
For its nature of its process, tolerances of investment castings are more precise than other casting processes. Such tight tolerances are helpful for less or no machining, and provide superior surface finish. And sometimes, no surface finishing operation is needed. However, sand casting or forgings can not meet this effect.
Net Shape or Near Net Shape
Investment casting is also called precision casting, especially for precision stainless steel castings, we can meet good tolerance level CT5-CT6, which can avoid further machining. Even if tighter tolerances are required, when casting, we just leave little machining allowance, and less machining job will be done after that. So we can say investment casting can achieve net shape or near net shape products.
Less Casting Defects
Being a cleaner process than sand casting, investment casting can supply good quality products with less casting defects. As investment casting process can provide reliable process controls, the rejection rate is also much smaller than sand casting. But it does not mean there will be no defects. As a reliable investment casting foundry, we will still do inspection to see if there is any defects after finishing production. Thus to make sure our customers will get products without defects.
No Quantity Limitation
The Investment Casting process can be utilised to produce components in smaller runs as well as in batches with large quantities. Unlike forging, for its high tooling cost and labour cost, there is a large quantity demands to start production. So even quantity with just 100pcs, it is also feasible for production, and the cost is almost the same with large quantity production.